Singapore Willing to Foot Kim Jong-un's Hotel Bills

Singapore Willing to Foot Kim Jong-un's Hotel Bills

It is unclear whether Kim Jong-un is removing hardliners - who dominated military policy a year ago, when Pyongyang-Washington tensions were at their apex - from the high command ahead of his upcoming summit with Donald Trump, or is simply replacing old figures.

This picture released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on 24 April 2016 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (R) inspecting an underwater test-fire of a strategic submarine ballistic missile at an undisclosed location in North. Picture: AFP PHOTO/KCNA via KNS.

U.S. officials believe there was some dissension in the military about Kim's approaches to South Korea and the United States. Ri Myong-su, 84, chief of the general staff of the Korean People's Army, has been replaced by Ri Yong-gil, his deputy.

Trump, Kim Jong Chol, and a letter from Kim Jong-un.

Both countries have faced global isolation, North Korea over its nuclear weapons program, and Syria over its tactics during a bloody civil war.

Reports said the reshuffle could be aimed at eliminating resistance to the peace overtures.

Army General Kim Su Gil's replacement of Kim Jong Gak as director of the KPA's General Political Bureau was confirmed in a North Korean state media report last month when Kim Su Gil accompanied North Korea's Kim Jong Un on a field guidance trip to a beach tourist zone with other officials.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in is to join that summit with the meeting likely to declare an end to the Korean War after nearly 70 years, the JoongAng Daily reported yesterday, citing a diplomatic source it did not identify.

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There was no official confirmation from Assad's office.

"Kim Jong Un has chosen a new leadership who reflects his new approach and can more naturally propagate his new policies to bring stability within the military", the professor said.

The Trump administration wants the North to "denuclearize", meaning to get rid of its nuclear arsenal, in return for relief from economic sanctions. North Korea's leadership is believed to regard nuclear weapons as crucial to its survival.

Pyongyang has long argued that it needs nuclear weapons to protect itself against a possible invasion by the US.

All of the newly promoted officials are younger than their predecessors, including 63-year-old Ri Yong Gil, who is 21 years younger than Ri Myong Su.

According to the Yonhap news agency, the new North Korean defence minister is No Kwang-chol, a former first vice-minister, replacing Pak Yong-sik.

USA and North Korean officials held working-level talks at the border truce village of Panmunjeom on Monday for the third consecutive day to prepare for their summit slated for next week.

However, US Secretary of Defense, Jim Mattis, affirmed on Sunday at an Asian Security Conference, that sanctions on North Korea would only be relaxed after "verifiable and irreversible steps" toward Pyongyang's denuclearization.

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